May 1, 2006

King James Classic grab bag notebook

There was just too much information to let go to waste from the weekend's King James Classic. Looking through our remaining notes from the tournament, a number of players and notes needed to go to print. Here's a quick run down of some notable players from the event.

Class of 2007 notes

Jeff Allen, Triple Threat - He went to work against Michael Beasley and the DC Assault boys in the 8 a.m. game in a big way. Allen finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds. The 6-foot-7 forward plays bigger than his height because of his huge wingspan. Allen has found his niche as an offensive rebounder and scores on put backs. His handle is good enough for him to handle it on the wing but his strength will always be inside. All and all, his performance helped set the tone for the big win against Triple Threat's DC rivals.

Kellen Thornton, Illinois Bobcats - The 6-foot-7 forward was one of the nice surprises from the tourney. He banged a couple of threes home and was getting it down with a dribble penetration and pull up from 12 feet. He's long, athletic and has the things that you like in wing prospects. Certainly a guy to watch in the summer time. His best basketball is still ahead of him.

Josh Miller, D1 Greyhounds - The diminutive point guard is incredibly quick and slipped past anyone that tried to defend in him in the open floor. He's tiny (probably around 5-6) but his handle, quickness and athleticism will make the mid-majors look at him.

Malcolm Delaney, Team Melo - Donte Green will get most of the ink with Team Melo and rightfully so. But Delaney isn't a bad player himself. A gritty defender, Delaney is not afraid to challenge opponents with his gnat like annoyance. He could catch on with a high-major or be a big time mid-major player in a conference like the A-10.

Austin Thornton, Michigan - MAC schools should be all over the 6-foot-4 shooting guard. He has a textbook jumper, good size and solid basketball instincts.

D'Mario Caesar, GC Ballers - The 5-foot-8 (at best) guard can really light it up. He's small but he can hit the big shots. He topped the 30 point mark in the tourney. Teammate Johnny Flynn is so quick to the basket that the defense oftentimes leaves Caesar open on the wing. Dangerous move. He'll sink it if he's open. Caesar will be a big shot maker for Southern Miss.

Braxton Dupree and Joshua Southern, two of the biggest big men in the tournament field, went at it in the blocks at the King James. The two behemoths tangled with each other in a Saturday match-up. For the most part it wasn't as good of a match-up as it could have been. Neither player out did the other. Southern finished with 15 while Dupree ended with 13.

Notable youngsters

Daniel "Truck" Bryant, NY Gauchos 16U - His nickname is fitting because of his stocky and sturdy build. The 6-foot bull guard downshifts into the lane and his big body is tough to defend, especially at the younger level. However, he's undersized as a two and not quick enough to be a point. At this point, Bryant looked like a solid mid-major prospect.

Devin Hill, NY Gauchos 16U - The 6-foot-8 center was blocking a number of shots and held his own against a pair of 6-foot-6 forwards double teaming him. Hill is long, active and is a guy to tuck away in the remember down the road file.

Chris Fouch, NY Gauchos 16U - Known as a shooter around the Big Apple, the 6-foot guard was driving to the hole and scoring with little trouble. He has good body control to boot. If he can make the transition to the point guard spot, his recruitment could be interesting to watch.

Durand Scott, NY Gauhos 16U - The 2009 guard played up a grade on the 16 and under circuit and looked confident and comfortable. New Yorkers say he's one of the top freshmen in the city. Fair enough. There is a lot to like with the 6-foot-2 guard. He has a good looking shot but gets into the lane with ease and can score in a quick clip.

Mookie Jones, Westchester Hawks 16U - The 6-foot-6 put together a good weekend and ended it with a championship in the 16 and under bracket. He can score in the post, works hard around the cup, not afraid to battle, good motor and good instincts. If he can grow, watch out.

Deshawn Dockery, Illinois Bobcats - Sean Dockery's nephew played up in the 17 and under division and looked very comfortable doing so. The class of 2008 guard hit some big shots for the Bobcats, including a number of threes to help keep the Bobcats in the game against NY Elite. Dockery is small at 5-foot-9, 150-pounds, but he has some game in him. If he grows into his lanky frame, he could be a guy to watch out for.

Odds & Ends

A pair of Oak Hill point guards sat on the benches of the Triple Threat-DC Assault game. UNC signee Tywon Lawson is watching his Triple Threat mates go at it while 2007 Duke commitment Nolan Smith is sitting out the event with a bum knee.

Former Cal head coach Todd Bozeman was supposed to coach the DC Assault's top team this weekend. Those plans were cancelled. He was just named as the head coach at Morgan State.

A scheduling mix-up sent Mean Streets Express packing a little earlier than they may have wanted. After picking up a big overtime win against the Michigan Mustangs on Saturday night, the Express thought they were to leave Kent State's MAC gym to play at the annex center down the street. However, the game against the GC Ballers was at the MAC and the Express didn't show, thus forfeiting the game.

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